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UK’s plan to move Trident nuclear arsenal off British soil if Scotland becomes independent | UK | News

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has lengthy been towards housing nuclear weapons inside Scottish territory. The UK’s Trident nuclear missile submarines are presently primarily based on the west coast of Scotland. The base for the subs is at Faslane and the storage and loading facility for the weapons is at neighbouring Coulport. The websites on the River Clyde outdoors Glasgow collectively type Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde.

Ms Sturgeon and her Scottish National Party (SNP) imagine that the one means to take away Trident from Scotland is if the nation becomes independent from the UK, one thing which the UK Government is firmly towards.

The SNP additionally claims that billions of kilos will probably be saved if the UK’s nuclear deterrent is scrapped altogether.

Those pushing for Scottish independence got hope when Ms Sturgeon pledged final year to maintain one other referendum – Indyref2 – on Scotland leaving the UK by 2023, COVID-19 allowing.

However, if Scotland ultimately does break up from the Union, main questions stay over Trident, together with the place will probably be primarily based.

According to a report by the Financial Times from September 2021, the nuclear subs might be moved to the US or France within the occasion of independence.

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Citing officials briefed on the matters, the newspaper reported that contingency planning has taken place in Whitehall for such an outcome.

However, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said there were “no plans” to move Trident away from Scotland.

A defence expert pointed to Kings Bay in Georgia as a potential Trident location, which is where the base for the US Navy’s Atlantic fleet of Trident submarines is.

Another possibility reportedly into consideration is transferring Trident to Île Longue in Brittany, France, the house of the French nuclear arsenal.

The UK Treasury was mentioned to favour the US possibility as it will require minimal monetary assist.

Reacting to the Financial Times report, he mentioned the removing of Trident would “happen at pace”.

He added: “Negotiating their removal will be one of the most important tasks a newly independent Scotland will face.”

The UK MoD spokesperson mentioned: “The UK is strongly committed to maintaining its credible and independent nuclear deterrent at HM Naval Base Clyde, which exists to deter the most extreme threats to the UK and our NATO allies.”

The UK is one in all three members of the NATO alliance, together with France and the US, which has nuclear weapons.

Housing Trident within the UK is extra seemingly than transferring the subs overseas within the occasion of independence, in accordance to nuclear knowledgeable Nick Ritchie, a senior lecturer in International Security on the University of York.

He informed “I don’t think the arguments for France stack up, and possibly over at Kings Bay, Georgia in the US, where part of the US nuclear armed submarine fleet is homeported.

“That’s possible, but also expensive and difficult, so I think the easiest option by far for the UK would be to try and reach an agreement with what we assume to be an SNP-led government in an independent Scotland for some sort of sovereign base.

“That comes with all sorts of complications. But I think it is the only conceivable option.”

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